News Release 

Dana-Farber nurse-scientists awarded two major research grants

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

  • AACR funds a digitally enhanced smoking cessation intervention
  • NIH funds study into chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

BOSTON - Nurse-scientists from the Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute received more than $1.3 million dollars in funding for two separate research projects.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced that in partnership with the Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson (LCI) it will award $1 million dollars to a multi-institutional team focused on developing digital tools to engage high-risk smokers in an innovative smoking cessation program designed to encourage behaviors that promote lung health.

This team project is co-led by Dana-Farber nurse-scientist Mary E. Cooley, PhD, RN, FAAN, whose research arose out of her experience as an advanced practice nurse working as part of a multidisciplinary team focused on treating and supporting lung cancer patients and their families. "Smoking cessation, even after the diagnosis of lung cancer, is essential to improving clinical outcomes," said Cooley. "Our hope is this program encourages behaviors that promote lung health and early lung cancer detection." The other co-leaders are Peter Castaldi, MD, MSC, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Sun S. Kim, PhD, associate professor of nursing at the University of Massachusetts.

A separate research project recently received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. The study, led by Dana-Farber nurse-scientist Robert Knoerl, PhD, RN, looks at metabolomic and genetic markers of neuropathy in adolescents and young adults with cancer.

"Essentially there's only one first-line treatment for neuropathy," said Knoerl. "One reason for the lack of effective treatments is that we don't understand the underlying causes of neuropathy. We hope with this study to identify potential biomarkers that can be targeted in the future."

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The mission of the Cantor Center is to reduce the burden of cancer through scholarly inquiry and rigorous research. The focus of the Center's research is the patient/family experience of living with cancer, as well as survivorship issues post-treatment.

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the world's leading centers of cancer research and treatment. It is ranked in the top 5 of U.S. News and World Report's Best Hospitals for both adult and pediatric cancer care. Dana-Farber's mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific inquiry, clinical care, education, community engagement, and advocacy. We provide the latest in cancer for adults through Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Care and for children through Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber is dedicated to a unique and equal balance between cancer research and care, translating the results of discovery into new treatments for patients locally and around the world.

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